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Living Lithics: ethnoarchaeology in Highland Papua New Guinea

  • Paul Sillitoe (a1) and Karen Hardy (a2)

This paper represents the joint work of two very different specialists. The fieldwork was undertaken by Sillitoe as part of his ethnographic research in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and the interpretative work was done by an archaeologist, Hardy. The work described here represents some of the last direct evidence from users of stone tools. It shows how procurement, manufacture, use, storage and the relative roles of men and women in the process was dependant on what other materials were available – material often sadly elusive in the archaeological record. Discard did not reflect use, but was often guided by the thoughtful wish to avoid cut feet.

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